Disney parks slip, but remain atop global theme park attendance report
Queues waiting to get inside the Magic Kingdom.
The 2016 TEA/AECOM Theme Index global attendance report is out, and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom remains the world's most popular theme park. But Disney's theme parks mostly saw their attendance slip in 2016, as rival Universal continued to see gains at most of its parks.
The top 25 most-attended theme parks worldwide in 2016:
- Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, 20,395,000, -0.5%
- Disneyland, 17,943,000, -1.8%
- Tokyo Disneyland, 16,540,000, -0.4%
- Universal Studios Japan, 14,500,000, 4.3%
- Tokyo DisneySea, 13,460,000, -1.0%
- Epcot, 11,712,000, -0.7%
- Disney's Animal Kingdom, 10,844,000, -0.7%
- Disney's Hollywood Studios, 10,776,000, -0.5%
- Universal Studios Florida, 9,998,000, 4.3%
- Islands of Adventure, 9,362,000, 6.5%
- Disney California Adventure, 9,295,000, -0.9%
- Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, 8,474,000, 13.2%
- Disneyland Paris, 8,400,000, -14.2%
- Lotte World, 8,150,000, 11.5%
- Universal Studios Hollywood, 8,086,000, 13.9%
- Everland, 7,200,000, -3.0%
- Hong Kong Disneyland, 6,100,000, -10.3%
- Ocean Park, 5,996,000, -18.8%
- Nagashima Spa Land, 5,850,000, -0.3%
- Europa Park, 5,600,000, 1.8%
- Shanghai Disneyland, New 5,600,000 (Opened in June)
- Walt Disney Studios Paris, 4,970,000, -1.6%
- Efteling, 4,764,000, 1.8%
- Tivoli Gardens, 4,640,000, -2.0%
- SeaWorld Orlando, 4,402,000, -7.9%
Also topping the four million mark worldwide were Busch Gardens Tampa (down 2.0%), Universal Studios Singapore (down 2.4%) and Knott's Berry Farm (up 3.8%). Singapore was the only Universal theme park to see an attendance dip last year. Overall attendance globally among the top 25 theme parks was down 1.1 percent, but attendance was up 1.2 percent among the top 20 parks in the United States, according to the report.
The big winner in attendance growth last year was Universal Studios Hollywood, boosted by the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in April. Shanghai Disneyland also helped turn the year positive for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts by attracting more than five million visitors in half a year of operation. All other Disney theme parks posted attendance declines last year.
The biggest losers were Hong Kong Disneyland and neighboring Ocean Park, which likely saw a loss of visitors to the new Shanghai Disneyland park, amplified by an ongoing tourism slump in Hong Kong. Disneyland Paris continued to disappoint in 2016, too, with its attendance dropping 14 percent. It's likely that many potential DLP guests put off their visit until this year, when the park is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the completion of many attraction renovations.
In the United States, Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks saw increases, while SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks continued their slide. Busch Gardens Williamsburg fell from the U.S top 20, replaced by Six Flags Great America, north of Chicago.